Maura's Angel

Lynne Reid Banks, Author HarperCollins Publishers $14 (128p) ISBN 978-0-380-97590-7
Banks (Angela and Diabola) paints a touching portrait of growing up amid the upheavals in Belfast in this coming-of-age fantasy. Maura has learned early in life about struggle and hardship. Political violence has claimed the life of one brother, another is in jail because of an informer and her father has gone off to fight with the Irish Republican Army. Left to help care for a retarded sister and two younger brothers, Maura has become cynical and resentful. Nevertheless, when a bomb causes havoc--and alters her usual route home--magic enters Maura's life in the form of an angel (which Banks suggests is her biological twin, Angela, who died at birth). As Maura teaches Angela how to walk, eat and sleep, and how to cope with the harshness around them, the two learn valuable lessons from each other: Angela shows Maura that asking why and trying to change the course of events can be dangerous, while Maura's family circumstances demonstrate to Angela that human life can be painful and imperfect. Banks's attention to the consequences of men going off to war and leaving their families to fend for themselves is powerful, especially in combination with her emphasis on the ways gentleness, kindness and music alleviate some of the pain (e.g., Angela's effect on the retarded sister). The author's skillful balancing of the magical elements and often grim reality that life holds will ring true for many young readers. Ages 8-12. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998
Release date: 05/01/1998
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.